Public invited to provide comments to General Plan element
SUNNYVALE, Calif. The City of Sunnyvale's General Plan is the document that guides the City in decision-making on planning and other issues. One of the key elements within the General Plan is the Land Use and TransportationElement, or LUTE. Community members will have an opportunity to both learn more about the LUTE and provide comments as the City prepares to update the element.
GeneralPlan elements are usually updated about every 10 years, making this anopportunity to help guide the City through at least the next decade ofplanning. Three meetings all with similar content have been
scheduled for the convenience of those wishing to learn more. The meetings are organized to both inform the community about the LUTE, its purpose and how the City uses it, and then provide an opportunity for both a question-and-answer period and a public comment period.
The meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, November 5 at the Washington Park Building, 840 W. Washington Ave.; 10 a.m. Saturday, November 7 at the Senior Center, 550 E. Remington Drive; and 7 p.m. Thursday, November 12 at the Fair Oaks Park Building, 540 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Participation in these LUTE community outreach meetings will provide a unique opportunity to help mold the future of Sunnyvale. Specifically, the LUTE serves to establish a vision for all land-use and transportation-related actions within Sunnyvale for the next several decades. No reservation is needed to attend any ofthese public meetings.
For more information, contact Principal Planner Gerri Caruso at (408) 730-7591, TDD (408) 730-7501.
The summary below was provided by Patrick Walz:
Sunnyvale Land Use & Transportation Element Summary
California law requires each jurisdiction to have a General Plan describing its long-term, general goals and policies. Sunnyvale has had a general plan since 1957 which has been updated approximately every 10-15 years. In the decades since the overall general plan has been split into several subelements including the LUTE. The current LUTE dates back to 1997; earlier versions were produced in the early 1980s. The LUTE "outlines the City's goals and identifies the careful steps and actions needed, ensuring that the City's transportation systems facilitates the movement of people and goods (and) ensures the
wise use of land for present and future Sunnyvale residents and employees".
Key Elements of 1997 LUTE related to sustainability
The LUTE guides the City's transportation and land use policies overthe next decade and as such is directly tied to sustainability. A eview of the LUTE would indicate that concerns over pollution and congestion were considered a factor in establishing a goal of reducedsingle-vehicle transport. It is clear that the 1997 LUTE was a marked mprovement over previous versions of the document; the 1997 version notes that previous versions of the LUTE were silent on the subject of bike transportation and transit and discourage high-density development. By contrast the 1997 LUTE established several goals, some of which have been met, including establishment of rapid bus transit on El Camino Real, establishment of mixed-use development on ECR and near transit stations, development of the Tasman light rail line, and improvement of the Sunnyvale bicycle network (network grew from 23 miles of bike lanes in 1997 to 79 miles in 2006)
The LUTE established generic goals regarding improved pedestrian access and promoting alternatives to single-vehicle travel, but metrics to measure these are not provided.
The LUTE was silent on the impacts of greenhouse gases or global climate change.
Updates to the General Plan since 1997
Several important developments related to the general plan have occurred since 1997. The Mary Avenue extension which includes a 101 overcrossing and includes a possible transition of Mary to a bicycle boulevard has been the subject of a final EIR and is likely to proceed. The City of Sunnyvale overturned its previous prohibition of construction of the Stevens Creek Trail within its limits. The City also approved a revised policy on Streetspace which prioritizes transportation uses, including bicycle and pedestrian uses, over storage (parking).
2010 LUTE Update
The Work Plan for Update of the LUTE was adopted on June 24, 2008.
The work plan intended for LUTE preparation to begin in late 2008 and be completed in August 2010. However, it appears that the LUTE process is at least six months behind due to increased expenditures required to prepare the LUTE EIR document. At the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission meting on July 17, 2009, Ms. Heba El-Guendy reported that staff is currently undertaking the following tasks:
• Brainstorming meetings on policy issues and updates
• Scoping of a City Climate Action Plan
• Scoping of the land use data
• Update of the project schedule and divisions of work with regards to consulting performing the EIR, traffic modeling, and data collection
• Prepare an Existing Traffic Conditions report documenting available data, associated operation analysis, and additional data and analysis needed
• Update of land use and transportation related maps and plans
Based on the work plan schedule, these tasks were due to be performed in late 2008 and early 2009.
The LUTE calls for significant public involvement, however, due to the delay it is difficult to determine the dates when initial involvement may take place. The following opportunities for community input are planned based on the work plan:
• Meetings with community participants (unspecified)
• Study sessions with BPAC and Planning Commissions prior to draft LUTE
• Joint community meeting hosted by BPAC and Planning Commission chairs
• Joint study session with BPAC and Planning Commission on Draft LUTE
• Public Comment period for LUTE and LUTE EIR concurrent (note that this task was originally scheduled for October 2009 but as none of the preceding tasks have been completed, will not be performed in October).
• Planning Commission and BPAC hears for public input, and commission recommendations
• City Council hearing
Added by greensafecommunity on November 6, 2009